by Rabbi Dov Fischer in The American Spectator
I begin with certain definitions:
1. The Jew-hater formerly known as Kanye West now prefers to be called “Ye.” Therefore, for the duration of this article, I shall call him “Kanye.”
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2. The White Supremacist, Holocaust-mocking Jew-hater who was ancillary to the unfortunate dinner at Mar-a-Lago has compared Jews murdered in the death camps to baked cookies. Therefore, for the duration of this article, I shall call him by the name “Biscuit.”
3. Donald John Trump is a Philosemite. You don’t hear that term often because not so many people, other than Bible Christians who believe that Genesis 12:3 is the Word of G-d, love Jews. But that’s what a Philosemite is: he or she loves Jews, even despite certain Jews (just as I do). “And I shall bless them that bless thee, and he that curseth thee shall I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”
Now to business:
I do not know why Donald Trump loves Jews. Maybe because more than 90 percent of Orthodox Jews voted for him against both Hillary and Joe Biden. Maybe because his daughter is an Orthodox Jew. Maybe because Jared Kushner, his son-in-law whom he loves and trusts, is an Orthodox Jew. Maybe because Trump’s grandchildren are Orthodox Jews who observe the Shabbat according to its laws, eat strictly kosher, and attend yeshiva Jewish parochial school. Or — my personal theory — maybe because his father, Fred, who was one of the great Philosemites of the prior generation and who even donated property to a Jewish congregation for them to have a synagogue, taught young Donald that part of the Trump Family Legacy is to love Jews.
When others refused to hire Jews, Trump did. (1) He opened the restricted Mar-a-Lago private club to Blacks and Jews when he bought it. (2) He surrounded himself with honorable Jewish legal scholars and attorneys like David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, and even a bum named Michael Cohen, whose kid’s bar mitzvah he attended. In Israel, Trump would be elected prime minister by a landslide. After nearly half a century of broken promises by other American presidents, (3) Trump formally declared and America recognized United Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (4) He moved America’s Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (5) He recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. (6) He recognized the permanent legality of all Jewish communities and cities (ridiculously called “settlements”) in Judea and Samaria (falsely called the “West Bank”) as legal in all situations that Israel’s own courts regard them as legal. (7) He cut off hundreds of millions of dollars’ funding for the Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) illegal government in the Palestine Authority on grounds that they pay monthly stipends (“Pay to Slay”) to families of Arab terrorists who murder Jews or otherwise perpetrate acts of terror. (8) He closed down the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, D.C., (9) closed down America’s long-standing “Palestine” consulate in Jerusalem, (10) pulled the United States out of the anti-Semitic U.N. Human Rights Council, (11) cut off $300 million in funding that America had been sending to the Jew-hating UNRWA, a Jew-hating United Nations agency that runs schools in places like Gaza where Arab Muslim children are taught to hate Jews and to murder Jews; (12) appointed a U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, who warned anti-Israel countries that “We’re taking down names”; (13) commuted the anti-Semitic Iowa prison sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, (14) almost unilaterally brought about the Abraham Accords that induced several leading Arab Muslim countries for the first time to enter into true peace agreements with Israel without Israel ceding an inch of Jewish territory in Judea and Samaria. (15) His Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, endorsed yeshiva education during visits to two yeshivas in a New York City trip while skipping visiting the city’s public schools. Moreover, (16) Trump issued an executive order on combating anti-Semitism to enhance enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, to protect Jewish college students from the overt Jew-hatred now rampant on so many American campuses, and (17) he named Kenneth Marcus as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education to investigate anti-Semitic episodes at campuses like Rutgers in New Jersey. (18) Trump deported the last Nazi war criminal known to be hiding in America, (19) signed into law a bill making it easier for Holocaust victims to reclaim stolen property, (20) ended the disastrous Iran deal and implemented crushing sanctions against Iran, (21) signed the Taylor Force Act, (22) knocked off Qassem Soleimani, (23) rubbed out Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, (24) shattered State Department policy by authorizing Americans born in Jerusalem to list Israel on their American passports as their country of birth, (25) imposed sanctions on the International Criminal Court for unfairly and illegally investigating Israel, and (26) said at his 2019 State of the Union address “We must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism or those who spread its venomous creed. With one voice, we must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs.”
That is the definition of a lifelong Philosemite. Copy and paste the above paragraph, and email it or post it or re-tweet it to anyone who does not already know that Trump and his father were and are lifelong Philosemites, friends and admirers of Jews. Not to mention Ivanka and his grandkids.
But the left-wing news media say otherwise? Since when can we trust ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post? The New York Times, run by self-hating Jews who lean over backward to prove they are “neutral” on Jewish matters, covered up the Holocaust (as they did the Holodomor) and opposed the creation of Israel. This is documented all over the place.
When Trump first sought the Republican nomination for president in 2016, the media fell over themselves trying to prove Trump anti-Jewish. They found an Absolute Nobody, an activist for homosexual rights in New Jersey who very briefly was spokesman for an insignificant group named for the very significant Anne Frank, to go on CNN and other TV stations and be quoted in the New York Times for equating Trump with anti-Semitism. They twisted every possible Trump quote and gesture to have hidden meanings that only they could divine. It was like their obscene equating of Laura Ingraham with Nazism by showing a photo of her waving to an audience at the 2016 Republican convention, capturing a split second of the wave to make it look like a “Sieg Heil” Hitler salute.
It is a game of “Gotcha!” You say you are not an anti-Semite, so we will hire people whose job description will be to follow you, investigate you, and magnify-glass you until they can find their proof. And then, ah blessed Charlottesville! Take a pin-pointed picture of despicable White Supremacists and neo-Nazi-wannabes amid a hugely larger crowd of demonstrators seeking to deter the tearing down of historic monuments dedicated to heroes who fought for Virginia a century earlier, then catch Trump saying there were good people on both sides — because there were — and … Gotcha! Just a bit of editing and clipping, and it can be distorted to seem he was saying the Nazis were the good people to whom he was referring.
Lies. Damned lies. And more damned lies.
OK. So, uh, what was that quiet private Mar-a-Lago dinner with Kanye and Biscuit about?
I begin with a verse from First Samuel 15:17 when the prophet Shmuel (Samuel) confronted King Sha’ul (Saul) for not having fulfilled G-d’s command to eradicate the Amalekites. Sha’ul explained that he spared certain sheep, cattle, and Amalekite King Agag to accommodate the demands of the common people, and Shmuel said to him: “Although you may be insignificant in your own eyes, you are the head of the tribes of Israel, and G-d anointed you to be king of Israel.” In other words, your exalted position does not afford you the luxury to show compassion and sensitivity to embodiments of evil. If you wanted that flexibility to dine with Agag over Amalekite filet mignon and lamb chops, you should have stuck to building hotels and skating rinks in Bethlehem and Ḥevron, and golf courses and casinos in Shiloh and Bethel. But you became King of Israel. That changed your rules of engagement, whether you like it or not.
I understand why Trump agreed to meet with Kanye. Trump is running for President in 2024, and he benefits by maintaining an open line of communication with that mental case because Kanye potentially might split off votes from some Black Trump voters. But, if he had to meet with Kanye, Trump should have done it by inviting Kanye to a mano a mano working lunch in his private office behind closed doors. Frankly, since Kanye is a certified nut — a meshuggeneh — the better part of wisdom would have been (and would be, going forward) to steer clear of Kanye, and let him further self-destruct over the next two years until he hangs himself with laces from a pair of Yeezy sneakers.
In any event, Trump should not be meeting with the likes of Biscuit. I believe Trump a million percent when he says he didn’t know Biscuit or what that oddball stands for or against. I believe it because one of the most worldly and well-informed colleagues in my inner orbit of rabbinic leaders recently wrote me, off the record, to ask me whether I ever had heard of Biscuit and, if so, could I fill him in on who the fool is. So I did.
If that rabbi, a leading expert on identifying and responding to American anti-Semitism, never had heard of Biscuit, it is totally believable Trump did not either. Moreover, I ask myself (as every human being, and also every “Gotcha!” journalist, should): If I invite John Doe, whom I already know, to dinner, and Doe unexpectedly shows up with a guy he identifies as his friend Richard Roe — and it all catches me by surprise — what in the world am I realistically expected to do? Throw out the guy? I don’t even know who he is. No, I have to grit my teeth, maybe utter some imprecations under my breath, and then smile and ask the waiter to set up another place setting.
I challenge any other person, under oath and on a lie detector, to say he or she would do otherwise. I have seen uninvited people show up at family Thanksgiving dinners, brought by moronic family members who never thought to ask first. No one throws out such people. Rather, you set up an extra place setting, and next year you do not invite the family moron either. That was Trump’s dilemma with Biscuit.
Where Trump runs into trouble here is in two ways:
1. He has so much self-confidence in his own judgment and smarts, and so much distrust of others’ advice, that he leaves himself bereft of insightful advisors whom he truly can trust. For example, he trusted Paul Ryan on budgeting to build the wall, and look what happened. He trusted Rex Tillerson on foreign policy and “Mad Dog” on defense, and look where that got him. And that screwy Omarosa. Nevertheless, he needs to understand that, as President who was and who seeks to be again, he needs two or three people to advise him, to vet interlopers. I am not available because I am recovering from a lung transplant. My dear friend, Steve, would be great, but he recently moved to Israel. Ted Cruz is busy in the Senate watching McConnell, DeSantis is busy coloring Florida red and kicking the mouse’s patoot(ie) out of whoever now is running Disney. Maybe Mike Huckabee. Or my TAS colleague Jeffrey Lord. Or Ben Stein, another TAS colleague. Or Wlady. I also would love to see Steve Bannon back. But Trump needs a second opinion, just as we all do when we go to a doctor for a second opinion after we get a diagnosis (and the doctor says: “You want a second opinion? OK. You are ugly, too”). Had I been there, I would have told Trump: “Kanye is seriously mentally disturbed; just ask Taylor Swift. You cannot make a deal with him or even trust what he will tweet about a meeting. Stay away from him, or at least limit your time to a 15-minute closed-door working lunch. Bring plenty of hand sanitizer, and have a food taster present before you bite.” Then, when Biscuit showed up, I would have been at the next room or table and would have escorted Biscuit to my table — to get him away from Trump — if I did not recognize him. No way would I let him near my president without proper vetting. This is not voting in Arizona. Like, howzabout some I.D.? And since I would happen to be a good advisor, I would recognize Biscuit by name if not by face and have him escorted out of the building pronto. As a friendly gesture, I would give him a kosher-certified cookie on the way out, certified by Israel’s new Minister of Internal Security, the Hon. Itamar Ben-Gvir, every neo-Nazi-wannabe’s cookie monster.
2. Trump believes, as a guiding principle of business success, that he must never publicly apologize or acknowledge a possible misstep. This guiding principle is what Shakespeare professors call a “tragic flaw.” I remember an episode of The Apprentice where Trump unloaded a “You’re Fired!” on a guy who decently volunteered to share blame with someone else. Trump busted him because he believes a successful executive never sticks out his neck to acknowledge partial fault. This belief is tragic. For example, all he had to do after the Kanye-Biscuit dinner brouhaha was to tweet as follows:
“I despise anti-Semitism, and I despise anti-Semites. I told Kanye that, when he attacks Jews, he is attacking my Ivanka and my grandchildren, so he is attacking me. Either he retreats publicly — and fast — or he is permanently out of my orbit. I am disgusted to learn who [Biscuit] is and what [Biscuit] has said about the Holocaust and about Jews like my grandchildren. I am disgusted that Kanye associates with [Biscuit]. I have given orders today to have [Biscuit’s] photo posted in all my buildings because he is to be thrown out immediately if he ever shows up at any hotel, casino, or golf course of mine. And I will immediately fire any manager of a Trump property who fails to throw [Biscuit] out on his rump.”
That’s all Trump needs:
1. To have two or three trusted advisors he can consult when sticky situations arise;
2. The ability to acknowledge a misstep rapidly, without enabling his “Gotcha!” haters to pile on for days and weeks;
3. The gumption to tweet a no-holds-barred 128-word tweet like the one above.
If only. Sad.
Originally published in The American Spectator
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore on Flickr